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Christmas Gift Guide
TVs

Cello iViewer TVs: BBC iPlayer and YouTube built-in

It's been a long-time coming, but finally iPlayer is going to be available on a TV for the first time without any additional hardware. The pair of TVs from Cello will be sensibly priced too

UK company Cello might not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of TVs, but it's the first to integrate BBC iPlayer into its sets. The iViewer range is available in two sizes, 26 and 32 inches, which cost £399 and £499 respectively. In addition to the BBC's catch-up service, you also get YouTube, which could mean access to other catch-up services from Channel 4 and Five.

Even more exciting is the news that the TVs will be capable of showing iPlayer HD when the BBC makes that content available to third-party devices. You can also subscribe to a number of other online video services, such as those from Revision 3 and Disney. This is all piped through the built-in Ethernet socket, or an optional Wi-Fi dongle, if you don't happen to have Cat5 cable all over your house. You can connect to a PC on your network too, which Cello says means you can look at photos and video, although there's no mention of what formats the TV can support.

In terms of normal TV gubbins, the Cello screens are perfectly well specified. There are a pair of HDMI sockets on each and, as you'd hope, a Freeview tuner with a seven-day programme guide. Cello seems especially proud of its easy-to-use remote control, so if your current zapper is making your life miserable, that's worth remembering. The 32-inch model offers Full HD support for 1080p, while the 26-inch model is understandably just HD Ready, with 720p support.

It's worth pointing out that iPlayer will come to freesat in the next month or so, and almost certainly to Freeview HD when that becomes more widely available. The service is also available via Virgin Media, the Nintendo Wii and the Sony PS3

The two iViewer models will be exclusive to Marks & Spencer until March 2010, but are expected to be in very short supply before Christmas. We're hoping to be able to review them as soon as samples become available.